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Old 04-28-2017, 01:13 AM
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Canned green jackfruit at Trader Joe's: an oustanding meat substitute

Now, I'll start off by saying that I generally like meat substitutes, even if they don't taste much like meat. I'm not vegetarian (though close to it: flexitarian, you might say) so I like meat, too, and I am familiar with what it tastes like.

I was at TJ's yesterday looking for something to bring to a veggie potluck for a friend's birthday and saw unpromising looking cans in the new products section labeled "Green Jackfruit in brine." Unpromising as it looked, it was something I wasn't familiar with, so I took a look. The description claimed that unripe jackfruit when cooked has a taste and texture similar to pulled meat and can be used as a meat substitute in almost any dish. Well, now. That sounded terrible, not to mention unlikely. But I figured no one else would be bringing jackfruit BBQ to the potluck, so I grabbed a couple of cans of it, some sriracha-garlic BBQ sauce, and some soy milk ice cream as my "real" contribution.

We forgot about the ice cream by the time for dessert, but the jackfruit BBQ was a big hit. All I did was chop and mash it up a bit, heat it with some oil and then sautée it with the BBQ sauce for a bit. Admittedly, BBQ sauce will make anything taste pretty good, but I've had professionally cooked vegan "BBQ" that was neither nearly as good nor nearly as meaty-tasting as this. I'm eager to try it with different sauces, like green curry, which a Filipino friend recommended on Facebook, and my cousin sent me a fairly elaborate recipe for jack stew that involves soaking the jackfruit in wine. He said he served it at a catering function recently and overheard a customer say, "I didn't get the veggie thing, I had the stew."

Amazingly it has no protein, and very few calories. If you like non-meat alternatives, I HIGHLY recommend you find a Trader Joe's and get some before they discontinue it, as they inevitably do with everything really good.

Last edited by Alan Smithee; 04-28-2017 at 01:14 AM.
Old 04-28-2017, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post

Amazingly it has no protein, and very few calories. If you like non-meat alternatives, I HIGHLY recommend you find a Trader Joe's and get some before they discontinue it, as they inevitably do with everything really good.
So...it's essentially celery? I thought one of the points of meat substitutes in vegetarian cuisine was to provide some of the missing protein.
Old 04-28-2017, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Finagle View Post
So...it's essentially celery? I thought one of the points of meat substitutes in vegetarian cuisine was to provide some of the missing protein.
Most people in the US, including a lot of vegetarians, would be much healthier if the pay replaced a few servings of protein with celery. Unless you are a hard core body builder, the protein needs of the average person are very moderate, and most people eat way more than is necessary and often way more than is healthy.

Jackfruit is very low calorie, but has a taste and texture completely unlike celery.
Old 04-29-2017, 07:07 PM
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Thank you for this review! I know what I'm getting next time at TJ.
Old 04-29-2017, 11:13 PM
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Thanks for the heads up that this is at TJs! I have used canned jackfruit before and in fact have two cans on the shelf right now. I have used it in curries, but the BBQ idea is excellent too, so thanks for that as well.

It really is quite meaty in texture and its flavor is also harmonious with dishes designed for meat.
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